Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Not so "Sweet Victory"

default article image“The winner takes all...” Those are the first lyrics of David Glen Eisley and Bob Kulick’s smash-hit rock ballad “Sweet Victory”. Fans of the song including myself, however, felt robbed when the tune was played for fewer seconds than the time it took for the referee to throw the flag in the Rams versus Saints game.

“Sweet Victory” was a gem of nostalgia on Stephen Hillenburg’s television show SpongeBob SquarePants, where the six-limbed artiste with the least talent, Squidward Tentacles, realized his dream of achieving musical fame by conducting the half-time show.

Naturally, when the Twitter page for Mercedes-Benz Stadium posted a GIF of SpongeBob dancing in the episode “Band Geeks”, rumors began to spread that Squidward’s day of glory would resurface in the hands of the NFL. Maroon 5 added fuel to the fire by publishing a short teaser video featuring SpongeBob on their Twitter page.

Would Maroon 5 pay tribute to Eisley and Kulic’s musical achievement? Would the half-time show give fans of football, and fans of being a child if they had the privilege, something to bond over in a moment of remembrance for a passing cartoon legend? Those were some questions we began to ask ourselves as the media began to buzz over the possibility of the rock ballad making a comeback.

Imagine my surprise when, after singer Adam Levine’s guitar solo, the stadium just barely glowed the color red -- the same color as Squidward and Friends’ band uniforms. Imagine my surprise when the Bikini Bottom Super Band appeared on the giant stadium screen...only to be shot down by a meteor containing Travis Scott.

Read more ...

A Single Valentine's Day

Single Valentines DayI am the eternally single friend. I look around and see everyone in seemingly happy relationships and always feel like I am constantly exposed to public displays of affection between people around campus.

I joke about being “forever alone” on a daily basis when my friends tell me about dates they’ve been on or the new guy they matched with on Bumble. February is centered around Valentine’s Day and while I’m not in a serious relationship at the moment, I don’t feel like this month should be spent moping around. I’m spending my February celebrating the love I have for myself.

It can seem a little overplayed lately, the concept of self-love. You see posts on social media talking about not needing anyone else and appreciating who you are before loving another person. But just because you see it everywhere, that doesn’t make it any less true.

I have a marquee lightbox in my dorm that I changed to say “Love yourself” as a reminder every morning this month. I really focus on thinking of things I personally love about myself, whether that be my creativity or the fact that I give my whole heart to the people in my life whom I love. You shouldn’t have to hear it come from someone else’s mouth for you to believe it. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you see yourself. Everyone else should not be the validating factor in your happiness.

Society has a way of making us feel as though we are nobody without somebody. The media advertises happy couples all the time, whether that be in movies, on television or even on social media. I am constantly scrolling through my feed and seeing posts about anniversaries and this month, particularly tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll see pictures of presents or dinner dates. You walk into stores and see companies capitalizing on giant teddy bears and boxes of chocolates that people always wish for. I know I’ve definitely been envious of the people who are lucky enough to be spoiled by someone. But who’s to say we can’t spoil ourselves?

Read more ...

Plastic Straws

default article imageWhat is small, plastic, and comes with almost everything we drink? A straw. You cannot sit down at a restaurant and order a drink without being handed a plastic straw. What most people do not realize is that this small object that we use every day is a major environmental hazard.

The plastic straw and its environmental impact are a huge concern today. According to the Freedonia Group, a market research firm, “In 2017, Americans used about 390 million plastic straws each day.”

The abundance of plastic straws in the ocean is polluting the water and killing marine life. According to Strawless Ocean, a movement against plastic pollution, “Straws are among the top 10 items found during beach clean ups and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles and other marine creatures.” Strawless Ocean also stated, “By the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.”

Some people may think it is okay to use a plastic straw if they recycle it afterwards. But, according to Strawless Ocean, most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter and get disposed instead as garbage. On Get Green Now, it states that it takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose. The solution to plastic straws invading the ocean is not simply recycling, an ineffective solution.

The best solution to plastic straw pollution is to stop using plastic straws and use straw alternatives.  There are numerous alternatives to the plastic straw: paper, glass, steel, silicone, bamboo, and metal straws.

Gourmet Dining on campus sells steel reusable straws for $2.00 in the student center, the dining hall, and the cafe in Plangere. I have purchased about ten reusable straws from Gourmet Dining with my declining dollars and keep one in my backpack for when I get drinks on and off campus. Amazon is also a great place to buy reusable straws and many come with cleaning brushes.

Read more ...

What’s the best study spot on campus?

Best Study StopsStudying is probably the single most annoying part of college. Yeah, 8:30’s are a pain, and don’t even get me started on the tuition. But to force me to sit alone for hours on end and memorize material from class, let alone doing so when I’m surrounded by all my roommates and opportunities to have fun, is just borderline torture. So it presents the question, where is the best place to study?

Some people may say the library is the obvious choice. It provides students with the quiet atmosphere they need in order to really concentrate on what they’re studying. There are multiple computers for those quick glances at PowerPoints professors post on ecampus and printers readily available for people who prefer to print out their study guides rather than be hunched over a laptop screen for hours. As much as it helps to have all of this around, I find the lingering feeling of stress from nearby students affects the way I study whenever I’m there. Sometimes silence can be too loud and the sound of someone incessantly clicking their pen drives me bananas. So it’s a hard pass on the library. 

I used to be a strong believer in my dorm room being the best place to study. Yes, while being in a comfortable environment seems to be more inviting, it can also lead to major procrastination. The amount of times I’ve found myself falling asleep in bed rather than reading that chapter that’s definitely going to be on the next exam is a little embarrassing. It’s also very tempting to go join in on the fun when you hear your roommates laughing from down the hall. So I’ve learned the dorm isn’t really a great study space, either. 

I never really thought the student center would be a good space to study until last year. Whenever I heard people were going to do their schoolwork there, I just imagined a loud hum of chatter taking over the small space upstairs. Even worse, I imagined people sitting in the lower level, the one where people go to eat their meals in between classes, and never being able to hear myself think. Come to find out, if you time it just right, the student center is actually the best place to go.

Read more ...

New year, New Books

New Year New BooksIt’s that lovely time of year again. I know what you all are thinking, so just calm down a few notches. It’s pretty safe to say, that, we all couldn’t be more excited for another 14 week semester.

Another 70, torturously lengthy, and extremely, but fantastically, exhausting days. And to top off this beautiful, new semester happening in our lives, what better way to add to it than ripping a handful of hundreds from your bank account?

What’s better than logging on to your bank app, only to have a couple of tears fall, and a hint of a mental breakdown going on inside your head, looking at the minuscule 20 bucks you have left in your account?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about books. Purchasing textbooks for these thrilling classes of ours. And, if you’re the lucky clover out of the bunch that isn’t affected by this amazing issue, well then please stop reading and go away. I say that with my whole heart and a smile on my face.

According to CollegeBoard, on average, between just 2018 and 2019, so far, a public four-Year, in-state, and on-campus student is spending a whopping, $1,160.00 on books and supplies, yearly.  Now, I understand it’s wholeheartedly our choice to be attending a University, and working towards our degree. But that’s just it. We are working towards our degree. A lot of us are working.

We are full time students. Trying to put ourselves through school, with a part time job on the side. Some of us have internships. Some are juggling sports, and with sports, comes equipment. Some have clubs, and with that comes attending events. How are we getting to school?

Read more ...

Perks of Hybrid Classes

default article imageDoes anyone else look for hybrid classes to take when making their schedules? I know that I do! But are these half in-class/half-online classes meant for everyone?

First, hybrids are great for your schedule. You only meet once a week for an hour and twenty minutes here at Monmouth so this makes them more convenient than a three-hour class, which also meet once a week. This gives you more time during the week to have to yourself to do homework, study, or dedicate to working or your social life.

Also, with hybrid classes you have a lot of freedom to complete work on your own. If you are typically someone who would rather just work by yourself and do homework in your free time than constantly be in class and participate or be involved in group work, hybrids are probably best for you. Personally, I am very independent when it comes to completing my work so this aspect of hybrids is beneficial for me.

Lastly, in a lot of hybrid classes that I have taken in the past, professors assign documentaries or movies to watch and respond to on eCampus on days that we do not meet in class. This allowed me to delve deeper into the topic of what we were learning and help me understand it better through visual examples.

Usually in classes that meet twice a week, there is no time to watch documentaries or movies because they are too long and take away from class time. Hybrids give the class opportunities to go further into subjects through assigning these films on the days they do not meet in person.

On the other hand, hybrids are not for some people. Since the class only meets once a week, there is more out-of-class work assigned. This results in a heavier than usual amount of homework to complete. Those who would prefer to meet in class the extra day and have a lighter load of homework, generally would probably not like a hybrid class in their schedule.

Read more ...

Senior Semester

default article imageIt seems that no matter what we do in life, we always wish away the time. We hold countdowns for just about every occasion, whether that be a vacation, a holiday, or in my case, a graduation.

 Just like that, I’m in my final semester as an undergrad and I definitely have a lot of mixed emotions about it.

When I first came to Monmouth University as a bright eyed freshman, I didn’t know how to feel. It was the first time I was living alone and I felt as though all of this new found responsibility was dumped onto me. Juggling everything was a challenge at first and all I wanted was to go home for break. So while I enjoyed the friendships I found and hung out just as much as (though admittedly maybe more than) I studied, I was also wishing away the time and counting down the days.

What a habit that turned into. I found that every time I came back to school, I wanted to be on break and every time I went home, I just wanted to be with my roommates again. So the cycle continued and now here I am three and a half years later, practically staring graduation dead in the eyes. Looking back on it, the countdowns were a mistake, which is exactly why this semester is going to be different.

I want to make the final months of my undergrad experience ones I can vividly remember years after I walk across that stage. I’m not going to let myself wish away anything, from the painfully boring lectures I sit through during classes in Plangere to the nights I spend in my apartment gossiping with my roommates about anything and everything. None of the senior class should. We all should want to soak up every experience that Monmouth has to offer us in our final months because before we all know it, it will be gone.

Read more ...

Skepticism of the Media

Skepticism of MediaIn recent years, the American public has become increasingly skeptical of the media.

“Since the 2016 election skepticism of the media has been heightened, primarily because we see our president saying there is ‘fake news’ everywhere,” said Brittany Macaluso, Social Work major.

Macaluso believes that while his accusations are directed towards a specific platform, media consumers should be weary of all platforms because this statement is coming from the President.

However, these statements from Trump tend to arise when he is portrayed in a negative light by the media. It begs the question, does President Trump use the slogan “fake news” as a means of invalidating journalists, when they report on governmental wrongdoing?

The answer is most likely yes. The responsibility of journalists is to inform the public by being “watchdogs” of the government. The government is unable to censor the press as it would directly violate the first amendment. The constitution explicitly states: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (U.S. Const., amend. I, 1791). The phrase “fake news,” is the only ammunition Trump has to discredit the media.

The self-regulating structure of the press, following ethics established by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), is how the media maintains an effective relationship of checks and balances with the government. Ideally, this would ensure journalists’ ability to produce the truth.

Unfortunately, the press is not always able to regulate themselves. Modern news is often funded by private institutions, which have agendas that don’t necessarily hold with ethical journalism. Instead, journalists can be forced to produce biased news to the benefit of their parent corporations, who are driven by economic interests.

Read more ...

Music Festivals: Camping, Dancing, and Jamming Out

Music FestivalsEver been to a music festival? How about one where you camp out and escape reality for the weekend?

A lot of people are opposed to this idea, but they wouldn’t be if they gave it a chance. Camping festivals are a great way to step outside your comfort zone. Doesn’t it sound good to take a vacation from daily stressors and responsibilities?

Replace those things with live music, positive energy, and a life changing experience. Once you’re there, you’ll realize it’s more than just a music festival, it becomes a means of self-discovery.

I’ve experienced a few of these festivals myself and I would encourage anyone to give them a try. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a huge camping person and the thought of being outdoors for a few days straight overwhelms you: it’s worth it. Those doubts will be the last thing on your mind. For the duration of the festival, you will expose yourself to pure happiness and peaceful people who are enjoying themselves.

In an article I recently read, titled “The Impact of Music Festival Attendance on Young People’s Psychological and Social Wellbeing,” author Jan Packer stated, “Music theorists suggest that active participation in music festivals contributes to identity development by providing a medium for self-expression, mood enhancement and spiritual functions terms and symbols for self-identity, and opportunities to create individual, virtual worlds.”

After leaving a music festival, you are on an absolute high. You will feel like you just met yourself for the first time. My reason for saying this is because it is a safe environment to express your individuality and be shown appreciation for it.

People don’t discriminate for the color of your skin, the outfit you are wearing, or the way that you dance. You enter a zone where you are encouraged to be your wildest self and to embrace the unique elements you were given.

Read more ...

Uncharted Territory: Women in Male-Dominated Sports Positions

Uncharted TerritoryA woman announcing a National Football League (NFL) game? This is undoubtedly what most people thought around the country during a Monday night football game this season. Hearing the voice of a female announcer was and is still very new in the sports world, especially in male dominated sports. It is not just announcing, but refereeing as well.

Any position in the male-dominated sports arena is tough for a woman to overcome, both from professional critics and the fan base that the sport entails. Society assumes that male sports will be left to males and female sports will be left to females. Once this boundary is crossed, criticism is often followed. This article will explore why crossing this boundary is “taboo” and the problems females face when they chose to explore this uncharted territory.

The dangers of crossing this norm can be explained by looking at the early life of men and women. It goes back hundreds of years when we first began to form gender norms. Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett explained how these norms formed in their book Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs (2005).

Barnett and Rivers stated, “Males are the aggressive sex and females the docile sex… Man the hunter has become firmly lodged in our imagination.”

Ever since this belief was formed it has followed society through the present day. It is no surprise that a female announcer would be seen as weak, or as Rivers and Rosalind said, “docile.” The anti-feminine norm rejects anything perceived as feminine. Likewise, masculinity norms is intellectual success, toughness, and aggression. What better ways are these norms perceived then in male dominated sports.

Read more ...

10 Things to Let Go of Before the New Year

10 Things New YearHow much stress are you carrying around? Do you feel burdened by life’s circumstances and emotional issues? Is school work, projects and studying sending you over the edge?

The key to becoming happier and more grounded begins with letting go. Letting go of worry and stress is something I have tried to do more in my own life, as I continue a journey of overcoming obstacles and personal challenges. Emotionally, physically and spiritually, I am learning to let go of a lot of things to become the person I am, and the person I want to be. Letting go can be scary, but it is an amazing act of self-love that can sometimes be overlooked.

We may find ourselves reaching a breaking point. Some days don’t go the way we plan, and many things don’t work out in our favor. We know that the next person we encounter, just might feel the wrath of our anger and frustration.

Letting go of my worries and stress has made a difference for me; of course, I still have moments filled with stressfulness, but in an ever-changing world, what else can I possibly expect? Every time I catch myself entering a bout of stress-induced irritability, I take a deep breath and do my best to let it GO. Today, I encourage you to do the same.

Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you will ever be again. It’s kind of a scary thought, but it’s true. If there was ever a perfect day to start letting go of the needless drama and stress that’s been holding you back, that day is today. And since we often use the New Year as a starting point to refresh our personal growth and goal setting, I challenge you this:

Read more ...

Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151